Daily Trust (Abuja)

9 May 2014

Nigeria: FG, U.S., GE Sign $21.5m Agreement for Health Equipment

Nigeria, the US government and medical equipment firm GE have signed an agreement to spend up to $21.5 million in programmes and medical equipment to cut down maternal and child deaths in the country.

The agreement was forged at the ongoing World Economic Forum in Abuja.

An initial $20m, or about N2.3billion, will fund a healthymagination Mother & Child Initiative to support ongoing programme to save a million lives before 2016.

"It brings together technology, the idea of involving health workers and the idea of training midwives and portable sonography in obstetrics," said health minister Onyebuchi Chukwu.

It is hoped portable scan machines could improve maternal in the next five years, he said, insisting other investors are welcome into the partnership.

A remainder $1.5m, some N247.5m, is to be spent over three years as grant to train biomedical engineers at Lagos University Teaching Hospital.

The grant from GE is to "support ongoing commitments to support better clinical and patient outcomes for nigeria," said Farid Fezoua, president of GE HealthCare Africa.

The firm cited estimates that suggest 50% of medical equipment is out of service at any one time in Nigeria.

Training equipment engineers helped reduce out-of-service medical equipment by 7.6% in places GE has worked, said Dr David Barash, medical officer at GE.

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